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Leaked emails reveal UK Covid super strain is wreaking havoc in Australian Open preparations

Leaked emails reveal three cases of UK Covid super strains affected during Australian Open preparations

  • Three cases of a British variant of the coronavirus have been linked to the Australian Open
  • Confirmed cases have resulted in changes to quarantine rules having to be postponed
  • Players who were allowed to leave rooms for training were expected to increase the cohort to four

Leaked emails have exposed the havoc three cases of the highly contagious coronavirus strain in the UK have in the preparations for the Australian Open.

Players who can leave their rooms during the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine may train another person during the five hours per day that they can be outside.

They were expected to add two additional people to bring their cohort to four, expand their training partners, and enable double training.

Australian Open players who are allowed to leave their hotel's quarantine rooms for up to five hours a day insist on having one other person in their cohort with changes that allow for a raise. Pictured, Venus Williams

Australian Open players who are allowed to leave their hotel’s quarantine rooms for up to five hours a day insist on having one other person in their cohort with changes that allow for a raise. Pictured, Venus Williams

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley (pictured) reportedly emailed players to inform them that changes to their quarantine cohorts were being delayed

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley (pictured) reportedly emailed players to inform them that changes to their quarantine cohorts were being delayed

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley (pictured) reportedly emailed players to inform them that changes to their quarantine cohorts were being delayed

But after confirming that three people linked to the tournament tested positive for the British mutant strain, those plans have been shelved, according to News Corp reports.

The three cases – two men in their 30s and one in their 50s – are not players.

“The residents arrived in Melbourne on January 15 on a special Australian Open charter flight and returned their first positive tests on January 15, 17 and 18,” said Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria.

Tournament Director Craig Tiley emailed players saying that after consulting with many, the “planned cohort expansion” was being postponed.

Players would not be in favor of expanding their cohort.

Mr Tiley said allowing more people in a player cohort does not pose a risk to the local community as they were all in quarantine.

“But we want to minimize the risk to all of you and so we have postponed the expansion and will continue to review this daily,” Mr Tiley wrote in the email.

The relaxation of restrictions would not have applied to the 72 players who are unable to leave their hotel rooms for the 14-day quarantine period, as they arrived on flights that also carried passengers who later tested positive for coronavirus upon arrival.

Outspoken quarantine critic Paula Bardosa (photo) is the only Australian Open player who has tested positive for the corona virus. The other cases related to the tournament are not players

Outspoken quarantine critic Paula Bardosa (photo) is the only Australian Open player who has tested positive for the corona virus. The other cases related to the tournament are not players

Outspoken quarantine critic Paula Bardosa (photo) is the only Australian Open player who has tested positive for the corona virus. The other cases related to the tournament are not players

The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation apologized to Tennis Australia after previously demanding that their players be released early from the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Pictured, Rafael Nadal from Spain

The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation apologized to Tennis Australia after previously demanding that their players be released early from the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Pictured, Rafael Nadal from Spain

The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation apologized to Tennis Australia after previously demanding that their players be released early from the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Pictured, Rafael Nadal from Spain

Only one player, the Spanish Paula Badosa, has tested positive.

The 23-year-old previously complained about the harsh restrictions on players.

The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation later apologized to Tennis Australia after previously releasing a statement asking their players to be released from quarantine.

Nine active cases have been linked to the Australian Open and 970 people involved in the tournament have been quarantined.

In the photo of an employee wearing personal protective equipment, he is cleaning surfaces in Melbourne Park on Thursday. Three travelers linked to the Australian Open have arrived in Melbourne with the highly contagious British variant Covid-19

In the photo of an employee wearing personal protective equipment, he is cleaning surfaces in Melbourne Park on Thursday. Three travelers linked to the Australian Open have arrived in Melbourne with the highly contagious British variant Covid-19

In the photo of an employee wearing personal protective equipment, he is cleaning surfaces in Melbourne Park on Thursday. Three travelers linked to the Australian Open have arrived in Melbourne with the highly contagious British variant Covid-19

Victorian authorities on Saturday reported a new case related to the tennis tournament, a man in his 20s who is not a player.

One case was reclassified on Sunday.

Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria said all three people confirmed that the British variant was in a hard lockdown since landing in Melbourne.

The Australian Open starts on February 8.

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